The spring paradox within the UNSC: An analysis of the positioning towards Libya and Syria

Ida Klockmann, Arash Rahimi, Signe Holm Madsen & Mikkel Aas Mortensen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This report seeks to investigate the reasons put forward by the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), concerning Resolution 1973 towards Libya and a draft resolution towards Syria during the Arab Spring. It scrutinizes both, the official statements as well as the reasons behind. The theoretical frame applied to discuss these justifications, is composed by cosmopolitanism and statist anti-cosmopolitanism. As these two theories mostly offered a theoretical approach to analyse the official normative arguments, we applied the scientific theoretical thoughts of critical theory. This helped us in gaining a more thorough understanding of the background for the positions of the various UNSC members. Consequently, the report was able to conclude some of the main dissimilarities between Libya and Syria, and various underlying reasons for the output of the UNSC voting. These were among other things; Qadhafi and Assad’s allies, geographical dissimilarities but also the historical context of the two situations. The above-mentioned factors entailed how an intervention in Libya was probable, whereas the diplomatic resolution towards Syria could not be agreed upon.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato19 dec. 2011


  • UN Libya Syria
  • Arab Spring